1. FC Union Berlin vs FC St. Gallen
Friendly, 15. Matchday
1. FC Union vs St. Gallen
Friendly, 15. Matchday
Union lose St. Gallen friendly 1-2
Urs Fischer's squad collected all-important game time despite losing 2-1 at home to Swiss Super League side FC St. Gallen.
Anthony Ujah found the net after 30 minutes to cancel out the opening goal from St. Gallen's Ermedin Demirovic who put the away side ahead in the 12th minute. Cedric Itten scored the second goal for Peter Ziedler's team who will return to competitive league action next week against Lugano.
1. FC Union Berlin: Busk; Reichel, Hübner (Rankic 71), Maloney (Schlotterbeck 45); Flecker, Becker, Malli (Opfermann Arcones 63), Kroos (Schneider 87), Kade (Maciejewski 77); Polter, Ujah
FC St. Gallen: Zigi; Stergiou (Ajeti 64), Hefti (Staubli 64), Letard (Fazliji 45); Muheim (Campos 78), Görtler (Kräuchi 64), Ruiz (Donato Alves 78), Quintilla (Solimando 78); Demirovic (Bakayoko 64), Babic (Itten 45), Guillemendt (Ribeiro 64)
Taking into consideration the fitness concerns ahead of yesterday’s defeat in Leipzig, Urs Fischer was able to offer game time to a number of players in the squad. Yunus Malli, who featured for 19 minutes in Leipzig, pulled on the Union shirt for the first time at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei since joining on loan from VfL Wolfsburg. Sebastian Polter and Ujah were the only other two players to feature on Saturday in the Bundesliga, while Felix Kroos was handed the captain’s armband for the match. Peter Zielder’s team finished the Hinrunde in third and were the highest scorers in the Swiss Super League ahead of Basel and Young Boys. Ermedin Demirovic finished off a slick attacking move in the 12th minute to put the visitors in front — to the delight of a few hundred travelling supporters. From there, Fischer’s team settled into the game and began to create the lion’s share of the chances. On 16 minutes, Becker picked out Ujah with a chipped ball but the striker headed wide. Becker was involved in a bunch of good attacking moves, including on his own as he struck the crossbar from distance after 23 minutes. Three minutes later, debutant Malli dribbled through on Zigi’s goal but landed a weak shot straight at the St. Gallen goalkeeper. Julius Kade was booked for simulation as Union’s domination strengthened. Right on the half hour mark, Union deservedly levelled the scores with Becker picking out Ujah in the centre of the box and our number 11 made no mistake. The Nigerian was close to grabbing his second after a cute through ball from Malli but a late flag from the assistant referee chopped off Ujah’s confident finish.
Keven Schlotterbeck came on for Lennard Maloney at the break as Union retained the same shape from the first 45 minutes. But the Swiss side performed better in the second half with Jakob Busk making a string of excellent saves to keep the scoreline down. Jeremy Guillemenot hit the post before Florian Hübner’s clearance prevented a near easy finish for substitute Cedric Itten. Union keeper Busk denied Itten shortly after but a mistake from Schlotterbeck allowed Itten to slot in the second goal on 58 minutes. Maurice Opfermann Arcones replaced Malli after the hour mark with the new addition running out of gas midway through the half. Stefan Rankic took Florian Hübner’s spot in central defence with 19 minutes to go and six minutes later, Tim Maciejewski replaced Julius Kade. Fabio Schneider was given the final few minutes but the Bundesliga side couldn't dig out the equaliser on home soil.
1. FC Union Berlin's second half of the league campaign continues next Saturday with the first home Bundesliga encounter of 2020 against FC Augsburg.
Union Berlin to host FC St. Gallen on Sunday
Less than 24 hours after the Bundesliga match in Leipzig, 1. FC Union Berlin will play FC St. Gallen in a friendly at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Sunday January 19 at 14:00.
It’s a final opportunity for head coach Urs Fischer to give players the chance to build up match sharpness with Bundesliga and German Cup games coming thick-and-fast in the next few weeks.
Review: Unbeaten in Spain, St. Gallen off the back of strong Hinrunde
With 20 points from Union’s first 17 Bundesliga games, Urs Fischer could have not asked for much more. His team spent just over a week at the Training Camp Campoamor near Murcia and underwent a period of warm weather preparation for the Rückrunde start at RB Leipzig on Saturday evening. Union faced three different opponents in Spain, looking to get back to match sharpness. Goals from Robert Andrich and Sebastian Polter saw off the Belgians OH Leuven, while in the afternoon, Union drew 2-2 with Royal Union Saint-Gillose. Sheraldo Becker netted the opener on 14 minutes, followed shortly by Anthony Ujah’s strike, but the Belgian second-tier side fought back in the second half. Ujah scored again in the final encounter as Union edged out Hungarian champions Ferencvaros — Neven Subotic and Sebastian Andersson scoring the other two last Saturday.
Peter Zeidler’s team will return to league action at home to Lugano the following Sunday. St. Gallen have made a strong start to the Swiss Super League, collecting 35 points from 18 matches and are the league’s top scorers. The Hinrunde ended with a 1-3 defeat to FC Zürich, but St. Gallen are one behind FC Basel and three off Young Boys Bern. The one-time Swiss champions also spent the winter break in Spain to regroup ahead of the league restart next week. German third-tier side Ingolstadt won 6-3 in the first bounce game before a more competitive 2-3 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. Zeidler’s men wrapped up their training near Marbella with a 3-2 win over Belgian side Oostende.
Record: Recent results against Swiss opposition
The Köpenick club have faced a handful of Swiss clubs in recent years — a year ago, Urs Fischer’s team drew 2-2 at home to FC Basel before the Rückrunde. Carlos Mane made his debut following his loan move from Sporting Lisbon and Union’s goals came from Grischa Prömel and Sebastian Polter. A few weeks earlier in Jerez, Union were held 0-0 by Lausanne Sport. In September 2018, Union drew 3-3 at home to Grasshopper from Zürich after going into a two-goal lead inside 20 minutes. Kenny Prince Redondo found the net, while Union academy graduate Berkan Taz netted a double at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Service: Tickets on sale, two stands to be opened
Tickets are available online for Sunday’s match, as well as, in all club stores. The main stand (section 1) and the Waldseite (section 2) will be open for home fans, while the away section will be available for supporters who travel from Switzerland.
Prices: Standing ticket prices are 5 Euro*, while standing tickets are 10 Euro*.
Children up to 12 years are entitled to free admission. However, should kids wish to sit in the main stand, a free ticket needs to be obtained.
*All prices include VAT, online and handling fees.